Astrology is all about the influence that the universe has on human lives usually revolving around the planets, stars, sun and moon. We all have different signs that are based on the universe beyond our reach. Commonly known are the sun and moon, the sun being your Zodiac sign representing your personality and this is determined by which month and date you were born. From this we then have our horoscopes which is an insight into what we can expect from our days, weeks, months and years. We then have our moon sign which represents our emotions and inner self, this is a lot more specific and is based on the time, location, date, month and year of when you were born.
Now you might be reading this and asking what has this got to with photography? Well we can all benefit by knowing a little more about astrology so we can get those amazing photos of the universe all those miles away.
Solar Eclipse – When the MOON comes in between the SUN and EARTH. The Sun can come completely obscured by the moon in a total eclipse, but a partial eclipse will leave a part of the sun uncovered.
Lunar Eclipse – When the EARTH lines up and comes in between the SUN and MOON. This is where you may see the “blood moon” but keep in mind that penumbral eclipses are a lot harder to see as the moon only passes through the outer shadow of the earth.
Celestial events in 2020
If this got you excited to try and capture the moon and it’s natural beauty you should also add these dates to your calender.
- 5th June – Lunar Eclipse (penumbral)
- 21st June – Solar Eclipse (not visible from UK)
- 5th July – Lunar Eclipse (penumbral)
- 30th November – Lunar Eclipse (penumbral)
- 14th December – Solar Eclipse (not visible from UK)
Please note the visibility of these events is entirely dependant on where you are. Therefore you need to check you will be in the right place at the right time before planing a photographic outing.
We can also see a SUPERMOON a few times a year. A supermoon is a new or full moon at its closest point in orbit to Earth, making for some spectacular photos.
- 9th February – 7:30am
- 9th March – 5:45pm
- 8th April – 3:30am
- 7th May – 11:45am
Most of these should be visible from the UK.
The Milky Way
When it comes to trying to capture the Milky way check out the link to a detailed guide.
A lot of the factors discussed come into it as the best time to see the milky way can depend on the moon’s current phase. It’s said to be best during a new moon, as this determines the amount of light in the atmosphere. There is another link which explains the benefit of having a bright moon in your photographs of the milky way.
Photographing the Milky Way with Moonlight
Here are some important factors to consider when exploring Astro Photography:
- The current moon phase
- Location – try and find a area that isn’t full of light pollution
- Camera equipment
- Camera settings
And remember it is always important to try and plan ahead as best you can to get the best results.
Why not check out some of these great apps to help understand the heavens
- Daff moon
This app gives you lots of information about the sun, moon and other planets and a particularly compresshensive guide to the moon’s phases.
An other app to help you plan your photos by visualising when and where the sun will rise and set.
- Night shift
A handy app to help your eyes adjust when using your phone at night
Published by Celestron who make telescopes this planetarium app give lots of information about the night sky.
Many thanks to Sophia for preparing this write-up for us!